World Voyager Vacations by CEALS
So much work is involved! You have to cook, clean up the mess, plan and supervise activities for the kids (adults too sometimes), make sleeping arrangements only to wind up with relatives sleeping all over the house (including on the floor) and worry about a relative driving home or to their hotel after drinking a little too much. The list goes on and on...what to do?
Enjoy gourmet meals without the hassle of shopping, cooking and cleaning up the mess. Relax and enjoy yourself because the ships crew has planned activities for everyone. Or, if you prefer relax and enjoy a conversation with your favorite relatives. Get a good nights rest knowing your immediate family has their own private cabin.
While landlocked family reunions have a lot of unknown factors, a family reunion cruise gives you the comfort and convenience of knowing all about your vacation before you ever leave home. This frees you up to relax and enjoy meeting family members. There are many reasons to choose to have a family reunion aboard a cruise ship, here’s a list of our top ten :
Something for Everyone - A reunion at sea offers something for everyone. Cruises allow your family members to individually participate in everything from kids programs, to relaxing spa treatments. Want to watch a Broadway style show, ice skate or sing karaoke? All this and more is possible aboard a cruise ship. And because there’s something for everyone, your family will be brought even closer together, resulting in family memories that last a lifetime!
Know your costs up front - One of the best things about choosing a cruise for your family reunion is the fact that you’ll know your food and lodging costs up front before the cruise ever takes place.
Affordable and flexible - On a cruise, you’ll be able to control costs more easily. Those with more money can choose more deluxe accommodations, while those with smaller budgets can book inexpensive inside accommodations. Since you can book a cruise up to 18 months in advance, you can even choose to pay for your reunion in installments. Cruise lines accept all major credit cards for payment.
No Cooking, No Cleaning - Why go through the stress not to mention the muss and fuss of cleaning the house? On a cruise you’ll have an attentive staff looking after each and every need. That makes the job of host so much easier. And while you’re having fun, your cabin attendant will make sure your cabin is ship shape by keeping things tidy at least twice a day.
Neutral Territory - Family members won’t feel like they’re intruding, or inconveniencing some family members by having a reunion at their home. Since everybody’s traveling to the ship, nobody has to feel that they are imposing on others.
Plenty of space - Aunt Mable’s tiny three room apartment is not the place to have a family reunion... even if she is a great cook. Many of today’s cruise ship’s are three football fields long and twelve stories high, a spacious place to have a reunion. Because there’s a variety of different size public rooms, space is not a factor on a cruise ship, so your reunion can be as big or as small as you need it to be, without ever becoming a problem.
Convenient - Cruise ships sail from ports all across the US, and most of those in the US are within a day’s drive of a cruise ship. For those that are further, flights to ships are affordably priced and cruise lines will even transfer you and your luggage from the airport directly to your ship. Today’s ships sail from an expanding list of ports including: Boston, New York, Baltimore, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Miami, Ft Lauderdale, Tampa, Port Canaveral (near Orlando), Mobile (AL), Charleston (SC), New Orleans and Galveston.
Dining is included - Cruise ships are known for the quality and range of cuisine available. Best of all, if you’re having a reunion you can dine together quite easily, and without any additional cost. When was the last time you took the family to a world-class restaurant ? You can dine in one for each meal aboard a cruise.
Less Hassle - Because your vacation is on a cruise ship, you will pack and unpack just once, and not have to worry about dinner and lodging reservations like you would with other vacations. Cruise ships are uniquely suited to handle the needs of large groups. The result is great service from a smiling crew that will make your time at sea more pleasurable than you could imagine. The luxury treatment all begins with a phone call to us.
Family reunion travel has become an industry unto itself since then, according to cruise executives who have seen the influx of multigenerational groups blossom in recent years.
The good news for cruise lines is that they are in a unique position to handle family groups - which, by definition, include passengers with wide ranges in ages - because of the variety of activities, services and amenities available both on board and ashore. Those features include meals that run the gamut from chicken fingers at casual buffets to upscale dining in sequins and tuxes, entertainment that ranges from late-night piano bars to wacky pool games and even quiet nooks where family members of any age can get away from it all and snooze on a deck chair.
Kids fare especially well on cruises with onboard children’s programming, dedicated play space with colorful and fun toys and games, video arcades and evening parties. So popular, in fact, are the children’s programs that CLIA estimates nearly 1 million children cruised last year. Even moody teens are not forgotten with their own teen-only hangouts - some ships even have teen-only discos and coffee bars - icebreaker socials and adventurous shore excursions.
It is in the area of shore excursions where multigenerational family groups are especially catered to, with activities that range from high-intensity water sports and hiking/biking programs to shopping and sight-seeing. Grandparents who may not wish to go ashore at all can stay on board and play bridge, enjoy high tea, pamper themselves with spa treatments and just enjoy the relative calm of the ship while most of its passengers are ashore.
What many people don’t realize is that cruise lines are ready and eager to supply a host of special services to family reunion groups, including planning assistance and customized parties onboard.
Following is a sampling of what’s available for family members by cruise line.
Carnival Cruise Lines — Don’t let a handful of cranky teens dampen your celebratory mood. Carnival Conquest woos teenagers with their own recreation center offering a computer lab, game room and teen dance club. Kids can also learn about the destinations they are visiting through Camp Carnival’s hands-on geography and science games.
Celebrity Cruises - Love to dress up but junior considers wearing a tie a form of torture? During seven-night sailings, parents can enjoy formal evenings on their own while counselors take kids for a free pizza party dinner. The Summer Stock Theater allows young thespians to direct, produce and act in their own productions, while the "Fun Factory" or "Children’s Playroom" offers play space for the younger set.
Costa Cruises - Want the kids in your group to absorb a little culture? The Costa Kids Club, available on Caribbean and Europe itineraries, offers Italian language lessons as well as supervised games. Teens have their own Costa Teens Club for kids aged 15 to 17. Caribbean sailings feature a "Parents Night(s) Out," so Mom and Dad can enjoy an evening solo while the kids choose from a host of supervised activities.
Crystal Cruises - Let’s say the younger members of your group need a little civilizing. New this year are etiquette classes for kids that include cotillion training. Children 3 to 17 can also participate in cookie baking, fashion shows, mini-Olympics, ice cream/pajama parties, Trivial Pursuit, teen karaoke, Computer University@Sea classes through the line’s children’s program. Private in-stateroom babysitting also is available.
Cunard - New parents don’t need to miss your gathering - Cunard offers nursery and babysitting services for children as young as 12 months. Supervised children’s teas and organized activities for children also are available.
Disney Cruise Line - Not surprisingly, Disney ships are kid paradise, but adults may be surprised at the range of interesting programming just for them. Above-average cuisine; an elegant, toned-down decor, and some of the best nightly entertainment in the business make this a great choice for family groups. Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island, even offers a separate beach for adults - kids can play in the on-site children’s play area - where Mom and Dad can relax with a massage or lounge in the kid-free zone. Evening parties also give parents a break so they can dine at the adult-only restaurant or simply catch up with the other adult family members of their group.
Holland America Line - The Zuiderdam is a break from tradition for Holland America with its bold color scheme, larger-than-usual Club Hal facility and varied venues for grown-up entertainment. The grandparents can enjoy afternoon tea while the kids hit the arcade and Mom and Dad catch a movie in the Queen’s Lounge. Look for the new Oosterdam to offer similar facilities for family groups.
Norwegian Cruise Line — Connecting staterooms and mini-suites make this a good choice for family groups with young children and teens. The Norwegian Dawn, for example, offers an expanded Kid’s Crew program with a T-Rex Childcare Center, Flicks movie theater and Clicks computer learning center. Teens have their own disco, a cinema and Video Zone with 25 video games.
Princess Cruises - Feeling guilty for taking the kids out of school for your family reunion? Princess has ramped up its children’s programming with such fun-but-educational programs as dissecting a squid or building a rocket. The programs are offered in conjunction the National Wildlife Federation, Miami Seaquarium and California Science Center. The Princess Kids program, for children 3 to 17, also keeps young ones busy while adults spend time catching up on old times.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises - Summertime is family time with an active Club Mariner program for kids in Alaska and the Baltic as well as select Bermuda sailings. The program keeps young cruisers aged 6 to 12 entertained while adults focus on Radisson’s upscale amenities and services.
Royal Caribbean International - Family groups bursting with active adults will find so much to do onboard Royal Caribbean’s Voyager class ships - from in-line skating to rock-climbing -that they may forget to go ashore in port. Meanwhile, kids can play in the highly rated Adventure Ocean Youth Program - which boasts five age groups - while the grandparents relax over gourmet coffee in the Royal Promenade as they watch the "street" performers entice fellow passengers to revelry. Adults can also try a seaweed wrap at the ShipShape spa or even sneak away for a couples massage. Someone in your family group tying the knot? There is even a wedding chapel on board - but plenty of advance notice, please.
Yachts of Seabourn - For a truly special event - say a wedding or special birthday to be celebrated by extended family - why not take over the Seabourn Pride, Spirit or Legend, which carry just over 200 passengers each? Everything is customized, and guests stay in all-suite accommodations.
Our number one goal is to make your family reunion an outstanding success. In order to accomplish that, we pay close attention to detail and ensure everything is just perfect. For groups of over 50, if you would like, we will be onboard to ensure everything runs seamlessly. In addition, we provide the following services to you:
► Research & recommend the right ship and destination to meet your families interest, life-style and budget for the time period that you desire.
► Negotiate best rates and amenities to fit your budget.
► Provide an experienced coordinator who serves as your day-to-day liaison with the cruise line, ground operators, air suppliers, hotel for early arrivals, etc.
► Review and recommend how to plan your activities both onboard the ship and at the various ports of call.
► Customize the onboard experience with private events/excursions/parties
► Provide written invoices with payment schedules and other documents
► Anticipate needs, follow up on all details, solve problems, manage database of participants and provide all necessary manifests.
► Coordinate your meeting needs, port activities and other requirements.
► Provide Group registration forms, invitations and other communication pieces.
► Ensure that all activities aboard ship are coordinated (in conjunction with you)
► Monitor budget, provide accounting aboard ship, and financial reconciliation at end of your cruise
► Provide additional support you would like including room gifts, signage, name badges, pier decor, gift baskets, logo items, and much, much more!
We will forward a sample flier and group registration form we will prepare for you to send out to all your friends and family. This minimizes your work and provides all necessary information. We are available to answer any questions from any member of your group and will be pleased to work with them to meet any special requirements they might have. Our job is to please you. Just tell us what you would like for us to do and we will take care of it.
► Expert Advice from Real People - Cruise vacations are all we do, and we love it. There’s nothing about cruises that we don’t understand thoroughly and deal with daily. From cruise line specialties, to a new shore excursion in Belize, we’re first to find out the latest and greatest in cruise vacations.
► Excellent Value - We offer excellent cruise values. Our high volume and special cruise line alliances help to bring you the finest vacations at the greatest values.
► No Guesswork - We offer "guidance without guesswork." We have extensive experience with cruise vacations around the world, we’ve been there, and there, and over there too!
► Unsurpassed Selection - No one in the world features as many lines traveling to as many locations with as many different itineraries and themes. We’ve got what you’re looking for.
► Nothing "Cookie Cutter" - We realize that each person and each holiday is unique from all others. We focus on what you individually need to make your vacation getaway a perfect dream.
► Hassle-free Convenience - World Voyager Vacations offers all-inclusive services. Not only can we book your cruise, we can also arrange your air, transfers and excursions. We efficiently manage all of the travel-planning chores, meaning you’re "on vacation" even before departing! You do the dreaming, we make it happen.
► Guardians of Your Good Time - We listen, understand, and care that your expectations are met or exceeded. We want to know if you enjoyed your holiday and how we can improve your next vacation. We take control and strive not to miss any detail-even those you haven’t thought about. We protect your investment and your vacation, to ensure you get a lifetime of treasured memories.
► Seamless Problem Resolutions - We resolve unexpected travel issues seamlessly. Should your travel plans need changing, we make it easy for you. Whether you’re just down the street or at a bistro in Paris.
► No "Surprises" - When you’re vacationing, the only surprises should be pleasant ones. Our "No Surprises" policy means that when you book with World Voyager Vacations, you know exactly how much your cruise will cost. There are no unexpected charges for transfers, port fees or anything else.
► Relax and Have Fun - Being a part of the Cruise family is fun! You’ll enjoy our cruise nights, colorful communications, contests, and friendly, no-pressure personalized service.
World Voyager Vacations
a division of Corporate Events and Leisure Services LLC (CEALS)